I loved the 03 game for it's originality & the memories it provoked (playing as a kid during the couple of years when I lived in a place where water actually turned solid in winter...). Same with the original WC (Buffalo?) & the having to play in a mild snowstorm, it never stopped us why should it stop the big boys.
That said though, even though I enjoyed watching the games there was always something in the back of my mind clanging the warning bells. The biggest problem with an outdoor game is that it has to count in the standings to have any sort of watchable/marketable intensity. However there is also serious potential to punish both teams by making them play in the noncontrolled conditions that you get inside an arena (bad ice, dangerously cold weather, snowstorm dropping so much on the ice that injuries become a factor from uneven ice falls, etc).
I think that most people would agree that the benefits outweigh the concerns/possible loss of points with having one game played in potentially bad conditions over an entire full season. It is something special & should be celebrated (especially as, with one game a year, even traditionally cold market teams only hit the rotation schedule every 5-6 years). However it is only special BECAUSE it is so unique. The NHL's idea to flood the market is beyond idiotic, not surprising in the least as there is a LOT of money involved in putting one on, but still beyond idiotic. If you flood the market with 5-6 (or more
) games per year, fans are quickly going to not care at all & attendance will quickly drop from the 60k+ that it is now down to (a still respectable) 25k or thereabouts, it just isn't special any longer but just another gimick.
I'd even suggest that the league needs to go the other way, having the game every other or every third year rather than every year. It would reemphasize just how special the game is/should be. However given how much money is made/involved, that will never happen sadly. The best we can hope for now is to keep things at one game per year (& New Years Day is a great time to do it, catch all the hungover people looking for something to watch before the football games start....brilliant). More than that though is just too counterproductive.